M:un Project - First Edition
Today we're off to discover Mu:n, an unusual watchmaking project founded in June 2020 by three young Frenchmen. With the announcement of its very first edition, the young brand is tackling one of the most poetic and demanding complications in watchmaking: the moon phase. We take a look at the inner workings of this edition, whose originality lies in both its design and its creation process. Story.
A look back at an unprecedented collaborative creation
Presented in 2020 on the main French forums, the Mu:n project wasted no time in revealing its ambition: to offer enthusiasts a new way of participating, influencing and following the entire process of watchmaking creation. More than a watch, the brand wants to offer an immersive two-year adventure to its community. By opening ephemeral creative spaces, within which the community can freely give free rein to its imagination, the project is itself an analogy for the conquest of space. A beautiful journey offered by this young brand.
Imagined around 4 chapters, we return to the major stages that punctuated this collaborative watch creation
Chapter 1 - The blank sheet
In March 2021, Mu:n begins with the launch of a first ephemeral space: the Online Watch Creator. This tool aims to replicate the “blank sheet” exercise and allows you to create your own watch in a few clicks in an interactive space. Each participant can thus project themselves into a watchmaking creation ex nihilo and vote for their design from a panel of around a million possibilities. 800 models were thus proposed by the community. The Mu:n team then relied on this panel to sketch the first outlines of a moon phase watch.
Chapter 2 - The Draft
At the end of the first chapter, the Mu:n team works on 5 sketches inspired by the compositions received. The participants are then invited to browse these sketches within a new voting space deploying different universes. There are 1200 votes, supplemented by 250 comments and cover ideas. Draft No. 2, with multiple indexes, is retained for the rest of the creation.
Chapter 3 - Technical drawings
In the fall of 2021, the Mu:n project switches to a 3D environment to establish the technical drawings of the selected draft. The community is invited to work on each component: hands, case, appliques, moon disc, indexes. Participating designers can vary every aspect and technical detail, in order to perceive the subtleties and observe their impact on the price. At the end of this vote, the technical drawings are finalized, and the community has decided, the first edition Mu:n will be Swiss Made.
Chapter 4 - Assembly
In the spring of 2022, the Mu:n project invites its community to determine the colors of the first series. A creative space is opened in April, allowing participants to vote for a color combination among 7000 possibilities. More than 4,000 watches have been assembled online. The project teams then close the collaborative adventure and unveil a unique numbered series to thank the participating creators: the Creators series.
“Behind every enthusiast hides a vision of watchmaking. We want to give life to this passion that brings together thousands of enthusiasts around the world. By integrating this community into the creative process, the ambition of Mu:n projects is to build editions that embody the spirit of our creators." - Manifesto, Mu:n
The First Edition
It is refreshing to note the community enthusiasm for a moon phase watch, a bias taken in contrast to the many horological projects centered on diver watches.
First of all, the brand promotes a Swiss Made model. The assembly and the control are carried out in Switzerland within a historic workshop, the house PH Saner SA. While the label guarantees the origin of the movement and the place of assembly, the Mu:n project also wanted to call on specialized Swiss workshops to develop its other components, namely the moon disc and the oscillating weight. The brand thus sets its standards at the highest level, with an entirely Swiss movement production chain, from modification to assembly.
The movement precisely
The Hommage Edition houses the prestigious automatic movement SW288-1 from the Sellita factories, founded in 1950 in La-Chaux-de-Fonds. The latter features a superior moon phase complication, with a synodic revolution of exactly 29.50 days. We are therefore dealing with a real moon phase, precise to 0.03 days per revolution, i.e. a shift of one day every 3 years. In this respect, it is interesting to note that the movement features a rapid date and lunar day corrector, essential when you want to adjust your moonphase on a daily basis. It should also be noted that in 2008, Sellita modified the profile of the teeth of the three-wheel winding system on its SW2 calibers, in order to make them more resistant to shocks and wear.
Regarding the technical aspects, the movement has 26 jewels and a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz). The second hand of the Hommage edition therefore beats at the rate of an eighth of a second, meeting the standards of modern mechanical watchmaking. Also note a fine power reserve of 38 hours, ideal for a dress watch. Also, and in order to leave plenty of room for the engineering of the movement, which has a meticulous finish in rhodium and Geneva stripes, a case back opened by a sapphire crystal is offered as an option. On good terms.
The dial, then
The first thing that strikes in the dial is its geometric purity. It alternates round shapes, which marry the moon disc, and rectangular shapes, in harmony with its stick appliques and its day window. Unusually, the dial has a 24-hour graduation (12-13…-24h). Witness to its French ties, this scale unfolds on twelve platforms affixedtoa diamond-cutguilloché. The dial thus offers avisual depth, whose relief is reinforced by10 appliques superimposed onthe guilloché. The designthus achieves the tour de force of presenting no less than six indexes on the dial (minutes, seconds, 12 hours, 24 hours, day and moon age) while maintaining a refined composition. A tribute to astronomical precision, witnessed here by watchmaking.
The uniqueness of this edition also lies in its realistic moon disc
In partnership with a Swiss workshop specializing in the miniaturization of watchmaking components, the Mu:n team has developed a new printing method. According to the words of the workshop, no less than nine steps are necessary for its realization. Drawn on a conformal representation of the star, this printing process has the merit of making each moon disc unique through subtle variations in hue, bringing an artistic touch to each model. The moon craters are burnt on the surface in order to offer relief perceptible to the naked eye. A great success for this workshop specializing in the miniaturization of iconic pieces, already rewarded at the Exhibitors Show in Geneva, the AJS Production workshop.
Although optional, the oscillating weight must also be addressed, as its design is out of the ordinary
The Mu:n project chose to revisit the design of the card The Moon XVIII of the Tarot de Marseille, made by Jean Dodal at the beginning of the 18th century. Composed of allegorical images and symbols, this emblematic map evokes the richness of our imagination, the buried memories illuminated by the moon. The oscillating weight thus presents six coats of arms in bas-relief repeating the constituent elements of the card, namely: 2 wolf dogs, a moon and its rays, a crayfish and 2 towers. Laser-engraved, each of these allegories is affixed to a specific decor, the finish of which recalls the original environment of the emblem. We will thus perceive a sandblasted finish, in bead blasting, or even in cutting. It is also interesting to note that the mass is made in the same workshop as the moon disc, in Switzerland.
"Surrounded by partners of excellence and a committed community, we strive to produce innovative components, both in the manufacturing method and in the design, to contribute, at our level, to the diversity and accuracy of watchmaking universe.” - Manifesto, Mu:n.
Finally, and to conclude this overview, we also looked at the case
With a diameter of Ø38 mm and a lug width of 20mm, the latter has obviously been designed as a dress watch. Built in three entirely polished parts, it consists of a slightly sloping upper bezel, opening onto a sapphire crystal. The body of the case presents a solid part with a clear break, which visually refines its thickness when worn. The body is attached to a case back in the form of a porthole, made up of two successive slopes hollowed out by four visible screws. This composition is an obvious tribute to space engineering, through a subtle alliance of flat and curved lines. The case back in the shape of a porthole leaves no room for doubt in this regard. We will also appreciate the break in the slightly sloping lugs which offers a pleasant light catch during wrist movements.
Transparency and pricing positioning
At the heart of its charter, the Mu:n project chooses to reveal the origin of each component, all of its suppliers and - something unusual - its production costs. Full details are available on the website www.mun-watches.com that we invite you to explore! Many details on the manufacturing processes are offered, as well as details on each component. This transparency is refreshing in an industry where margins and opacity are commonplace. In this regard, we have studied the costs and prices of production, and we offer you a summary here.
For the launch, the brand announces to reduce its margin to the strict minimum. The sale price should vary between 1,450 CHF and 1,990 CHF (including tax) depending on the options selected, for a watch whose sum of components is around 600 CHF. For its launch and to thank the participating creators, the first models will be offered at 950 CHF on the Kickstarter platform - unheard of for a model of this caliber, with almost zero margin. Don’t miss the date, prices climb quite quickly afterwards, and the project has not yet revealed the number of copies available at this price!
It should be noted that the entry level of a watch with automatic moon phase and Swiss made oscillates between 3,000 and 5,000 CHF on the market. The extremely competitive prices of this new brand can thusbeexplained by two reasons. The firstis the arrival in thepublicdomain of the ETA 2800 movement, allowing Sellita to offer its own moon phase movement in 2018: the SW288. Although expensive, the latter is offered - on order only - to new brands. He thus democratizes this horological complication, the former preserve of luxury watches. The second reason is intrinsic to the project, which wants to keep a promise made in 2021, namely to offer an automatic moon phase watch at less than 1,000 CHF. Done, but only for the first buyers!
“Watchmaking is a living art, in perpetual innovation. In order to give life to the ideas of our creators, we pursue a quest for accuracy in the choice of components and partners who accompany us. More than just suppliers, they fully integrate creation. With proven expertise and a shared quest for innovation, they work with us on Mu:n ephemeral editions" - Manifesto, Mu:n.
We are inaugurating this presentation with the Creators Series, which, as its name suggests, is dedicated to creators who have followed the project for almost two years now. To thank them, the Mu:n project teams have put together a collection designed around the colors that punctuated this first adventure. In the same spirit that animated each stage of the project, this series will therefore be ephemeral! It will only be available until December 31, for pre-order on Kickstarter.
Composed of two models, the Origine series is the permanent series of Mu:n. It reflects the culmination of this collaborative creation, and will also be available for pre-order on Kickstarter from November.
Also and in order to suit all wallets, a quartz series will also be offered. Designed around the same requirements as the automatic, and assembled in Switzerland in the same workshop, this series is built around the Swiss Ronda Normetch 708 movement, the case has been reduced to ⌀36 mm in order to maintain its proportions and suit thinner wrists. The models will be offered around 430 CHF, although accessible from 290 CHF for the first orders.
Regarding the delivery, it will take a period of 3 to 5 months. Since the SW288 movements are only produced to order, with a production lead time of approximately 3 months, the first models should therefore be delivered in March. That said, and to celebrate the holiday season, the Mu:n teams are offering a free metallicgift card. Fully connected,thelatter willallow you to follow your order and discover the model. We will therefore have to be patient but we appreciate the attention in order to have everything, even a nice package to put under the tree.
Follow the launch
We particularly like the positioning of this new micro-brand, which has the audacity and merit of reinventing a historic watchmaking complication, the moon phase. Not only does it offer an original model, but the specifications of the Hommage Edition have nothing to envy to the big names in watchmaking. We will particularly appreciate the design of the model, the Swiss Made label, the transparency of the brand, as well as this magnificent moon phase produced by the AJS Production workshop.
Finally, we appreciate the collaborative dynamic of the brand, which by integrating the community into this adventure, not only creates, but also brings together enthusiasts from all over the world around this common passion that is watchmaking.